For those who have had difficulty finding their way to mobile apps, Google’s now looking to give you a helping hand. The company has added a new feature to its mobile search engine to make locating mobile apps easier.
Now, when you search for something like “Bank of America app” or “Twitter app” on your iPhone or Android handset, Google will provide specialized search results from the App Store or Android Market. At the top of your search results, the search engine will display the app’s icon, name, publisher, price, and rating. You can either tap the name of the application to be taken directly to that app’s entry in its respective store or choose to view more search results from the relevant store.
The key appears to be appending “app” to the term that you search for, though at present, it doesn’t appear as though Google has completely cataloged the stores—while the above queries seemed to work, searching for many other apps yielded no results.
As for why Google is doing this, the company has always had a vested interest in maintaining a large, comprehensive index of digital content. Combine that with the fact that Apple—and Steve Jobs—has said on a couple of occasions that in the mobile market, they see consumers turning more to apps than to the Web.
It’s no surprise Google wants a piece of the burgeoning mobile application market, and in true Google fashion, that means providing a portal into the app market places, both on its own platform and on Apple’s.